Having realised how passionate I am about tea from my previous post, I’ve funnily got another post to follow up with. This time I’m not praising tea.
When I was younger I’d heard a few people talking about caffeine affecting sleep. Now I loved a cup of tea every evening, or two, and never made a connection with struggling to fall asleep. Especially not when I heard we don’t absorb as much of the caffeine in tea as we do coffee, and when I heard one person saying that they had a cup of tea to help them sleep.
Therein lay my golden excuse that I repeated to myself for the next decade.
I’ve only recently realised over the years that as I enjoy tea more, and crave it to be stronger and stronger, that I’ve been using it as a stimulant.
I’d use it to be alert until late in the evening (often with two to six chocolate digestives per cup), and then I’d crash exhausted and sleep.
Explains something of why I’ve been so worn out.
As I’ve started getting up earlier lately, I’ve decided not to take caffeine in the evenings before bed. I discovered a few things. I start to feel tired, and my dreams have changed.
Before, my most vivid dream I remember is that adding milk to my tea turned it grey. Since I’ve stopped taking tea I’ve noticed that my dreams have become very real. I thought someone at work gave me a large bunch of equipment to store, because I dreamed it, and it was only sitting at my desk today that I realised it hadn’t happened. This is a totally strange experience for me – I used to think that I didn’t dream because I never ever remembered a single dream. I saw someone else online reported having longer, more realistic dreams too.
I’ve also realised that I start feeling tired in the evenings. The previous desire I used to have to stay up late is rapidly vanishing as I’m starting to realise I’ve less time I’m alert for and to use my energy better. Going to bed has always been the hardest thing for me, and it seems that removing a few cups of tea could be the easiest change for me to make to fix that.
I’ve been using an app that monitors my sleep, and so I know how much I sleep and try and catch up if I fall behind. I’ve been feeling tired lately but I think my body probably needs to adjust from all the long term sleep debt its accumulated.